17 Baby Must-Haves According to Seasoned Moms (& 3 They Said to Skip!)


baby items in Target shopping cart

Congratulations, mama! Let’s shop! 🍼👶🤰🛍️

We know retailers are filled with products to make parenting easier, so you’ve got to be wondering which baby registry items are truly a must-have and which you should avoid!

According to well-seasoned moms, here’s a list of the products you won’t want to live without along with the top 3 purchases many regretted buying at all.

Tip – If you’re an Amazon Prime member with a little one on the way, head on over to Amazon and create a new baby registry! In addition to being one of the easiest places to get almost everything your baby needs, Amazon is also offering up a FREE Baby Welcome Box when you create a baby registry ($35 value)!

Just a kind reminder to all parents that we realize some of these items may not fit your lifestyle, and that’s okay. 🤗 Every family is unique and we are here to support all of you on your new journey. Happiness, love, & congratulations to YOU! ❤️

Feeding-related must-haves:

1. An ergonomic nursing pillow takes the weight off your shoulders & arms.

must have baby product boppy pillow on store shelf

You don’t need to be a nursing mama to benefit from the perks of a nursing pillow. It’s not only a place to rest your arms while nursing your sweet babe but also whenever you need some relief while holding them in your arms. Plus, it even provides extra support for little helpers when they want turns to hold the baby. Better yet, they’re machine washable for longevity.

While the debate of the “best nursing pillow” will forever be ongoing, here are our top 2 must-have picks:

boppy nursing pillow on floor in store in front of target cart

  • My Brest Friendstarting at $34.95 This pillow has a buckle strap to allow for more security & mobility, as well as padding in the back to provide comfortable back support. Plus, there’s even a small pocket for your nursing pads, phone, pacifiers, etc. They even have a twin My Brest Friend if you’re expecting a dynamic duo.
  • Boppy Original Nursing Pillow$39.99 – This pillow could potentially outlive even your nursing days because of its versatility. Aside from nursing, it can be used to help prop up your baby before they learn to sit up on their own, along with tummy time as they’re developing neck strength. In any case, it can even be used for lounging regardless of age due to its soft pillow design. Check out all the designs here!

2. Silicone bibs are reusable meal after meal & incredibly easy to keep clean.

toddler sitting in highchair with yellow silicone bib eating out of bowl

Before you know it, your baby will be eating oatmeal and solid foods, which means you need to be prepared for many more messes to come. Silicone bibs with pockets catch all the mess, are comfortable to wear, and even have adjustable notches in the back for the perfect fit.

Plus, they’re incredibly easy to keep clean (even top-rack dishwasher safe), reusable meal after meal, and easy to take with you on the go!

Here are our top 3 picks for the best silicone bibs:

various silicone bibs hanging on store shelf

  • Mushie Silicone Bib$12.99 gorgeous neutral matte colors to blend with any home’s aesthetic.
  • BABYBJÖRN Baby Bibs$19.99 (2-pack) – a trusted brand with pretty neckline details.

3. A silicone self-feeder keeps them occupied & is great for teething babies.

oxo silicone feeder in packaging on white fur blanket

Speaking of eating, you’re little one will love having the ability to feed themselves safely with a silicone self-feeder. It’ll save you time feeding them while you’ve got your hands full or if you’re dealing with a fussy baby while on the go.

Not only that, when you freeze them, they work exceptionally well for teething babies!

4. Useful burp cloths will save you from having to do extra laundry.

woman holding baby with white burp cloth on shoulder

Burp cloths are a must so you can protect your clothes from spit-ups and drooling after feedings – especially if you’re about to head out with intentions to look put together.

Here are our top 3 picks for the best burp cloths:

  • Muslin Burp Cloths $12.95 (6-pack – regularly $14.95) – extra absorbent with 6 layers of cotton.

5. Your breast pumping journey will be so much easier with a hands-free breast pump.

woman wearing nursing bra with hands free breast pump inside

Times are changing and if you plan to pump your breast milk at any point in time, a breast pump can practically become a new part of your body. You might as well make it an experience that’s as easy and comfortable for you as possible!

No pumping journey is easy, but the ability to score a hands-free breast pump will leave you almost forgetting you’re even doing it, which is even more ideal for women heading back to work who prefer to remain discreet.

woman holding up bag of breast milk with willow hands free breast pump on display

Here are our 2 top picks for the best hands-free breast pumps:

  • Willow Generation 3 Breast Pump$499.99 while wearing it in your bra, this quiet and discreet pump is perfect anywhere, anytime, and even in any position.
  • Elvie Pump – $499.99 the first-ever silent hands-free breast pump that fits discreetly into your nursing bra.

6. Prop your baby in a functional & versatile seat whenever you need free hands.

baby in seat on leather couch

Whether it’ll be used as a play area, a place to feed your baby, or simply a space you can set them down to take a load off your arms, having a versatile seat that can pull double-duty in a plethora of ways will be a lifesaver on a daily basis!

Here are our top 2 picks for the best baby seats:

  • Bumbo Multi-Seat – $49.99 – easy to wipe clean, transport, and perfect for mealtime, snacks, or anytime your hands need a break.

Nighttime must-haves:

7. Dress your new baby in some functional sleepers to make changing hassle-free.

baby sleepers hanging from red target cart

While dressing your new baby to the nines is going to be tempting at all times, trust when I say your life will be so much easier when you dress them in something much more functional – especially when it comes to all those midnight changing sessions. And bonus points if they have built-in mittens to keep your little one from inadvertently scratching their face too.

Here are the top 3 must-have styles of sleepers for your baby day to night:

baby wearing nightgown and bow laying on bed with mom

  • Wallaby Knotted Tie Bottom Sleeper – $19.99+ the best of both worlds that keep your baby’s feet secure while still creating an easy diaper-changing experience. Plus, they look so stinking cute, so why not?!

8. A swaddle or sleepsack mimics the womb and makes your baby feel cozier than ever.

baby wearing pink swaddle while sleeping

A swaddle or sleep sack is essentially a way to mimic the womb and make your baby feel secure. Plus, most babies love them (especially when sleeping) so make sure to put these on your must-have baby registry!

They’re also great for helping keep your baby from scratching themselves while just lounging around their crib.

Here are our top 3 picks for the best sleep sacks:

sleeping baby wearing swaddle two different ways

  • Halo Sleepsack – $21.99 #1 choice by hospitals nationwide and suitable from 0-6 months.

9. Have eyes & ears on your new baby at all times with a baby monitor.

must have baby monitor on display at store

A reliable baby monitor ensures you’re able to safely and securely keep an eye on your baby during nap time, overnight, or any time you need to step away for a moment. There are a lot of baby monitors on the market with different features, including breathing monitoring, Wi-Fi capabilities, and apps that monitor babies using only your existing devices, like your phone, tablet, or even computer!

Here are our top 3 picks for the best baby monitors:

owlet baby monitor in box on display

  • VTech DM221-2 Audio Baby Monitor – $39.99 (regularly $49.95) simplicity at its finest, this back-to-basics monitor comes with 2 parent units & even has a nightlight that can be remotely shut off.
  • Owlet Duo Smart Baby Monitor– $399.99 – a splurge-worthy monitor for the ultimate peace of mind – it’ll even track your baby’s heart rate and oxygen levels.

Travel must-haves:

10. Invest in a good jogging stroller that can easily handle every terrain, no matter where you go.

woman pushing jogging stroller outside

Strollers are a pretty big ask for a registry, but don’t let that deter you from adding a nice stroller to the list. In fact, after raising three kiddos myself and trying many strollers, I found that a nice jogging stroller will serve all your purposes and handle every terrain perfectly!

Oftentimes, multiple friends and family may want to go in together for your stroller so it’s a win-win for all! Plus, if you keep it in great condition, by the time your baby outgrows it you’ll likely be able to resell it for a good chunk of change.

pink and gray jogging stroller outside on sidewalk

Here are our top 3 picks for the best jogging strollers:

11. The Mommy hook is like having a third and fourth hand at all times.

hand holding pink mommy hook

Strong and durable, this hook is functional for even people who aren’t parents! Considering the amount of stuff you’ll be toting around after you give birth, you’ll especially appreciate this baby registry must-have.

Simply clip it on your grocery cart, stroller, or load up all your shopping bags in one convenient place — this hook will be a third hand to have around at all times! OR go all out and scoop up this 2-pack on Amazon so you can have a 4th hand at all times too!

12. A car seat cover will keep your baby safe from the elements while traveling around.

baby girl wearing pink headband smiling

Speaking of always on the go, regardless of what weather you’ll be toting your baby around in, you’ll definitely want to add a car seat cover to your baby registry. Depending on your climate, you’ll be able to keep your baby perfectly safe & cozy with our top picks.

Here are our top 2 seasonal picks for the best car seat covers:

different ways to use a car seat cover

  • Parker Baby 4 in 1 Car Seat Cover – $21.95 versatile cover, perfect for year-round use. It can be used as a nursing cover, grocery cart cover, or even a high chair cover too.
  • JJ Cole Original Bundleme Bunting Bag – $34 (regularly $39.96) perfect for cold, winter months and requires no jacket on your little one to safely transport them from point A to B.

13. Carrying a backpack diaper bag around will keep you hands-free when on the go.

must have pink diaper bag sitting on wooden floor

Heading out for the day with a baby can often feel like packing for an extended weekend trip. That’s why having a bag to keep all your essentials organized, your arms comfortable, and hands totally free is crucial to successful outings. Plus, if you already have a toddler running around, you’re going to need both hands at all times anyway.

Here are our top 3 picks for the best backpack diaper bags:

woman showing different ways to use leather bookbag diaper bag

14. Wearing a breathable baby carrier will be comfortable for you and your baby.

woman holding baby with gray baby carrier outside

Once baby arrives, you’ll be craving those newborn snuggles at all times so make sure to add just the right baby carrier to your registry must-have list. You’ll be able to go about your day without any interruptions and keep your baby close and cozy at all times.

Plus, there’s no mama out there who didn’t say they love having a snuggly little baby head on their chest to kiss & smell whenever they please so bask in it, mama! 😍

Here are our top 3 picks for the best baby carriers:

woman holding baby in emerald green ring sling

  • Kyte Baby Ring Sling – $64.99 – the easiest on-the-go carrier to take on and off. Versatile front or hip carrying options and suitable for 8-35 lbs. 
  • Solly Baby Wrap – $65 Half the amount of fabric as the Moby Wrap & super breathable. Suitable from newborn up to 25 lbs.

Miscellaneous must-haves:

15. Don’t forget some plain colored onesies for the best daily attire no matter the season.

packages of gerber baby onesies

Any seasoned parent will tell you some plain colored onesies or bodysuits will be a total lifesaver! From using them as layering pieces, for bedtime, or something simple on the hottest summer days, you can never go wrong with stashing these away in the nursery or your new diaper bag.

16. Soothe your baby with a cute Wubbanub pacifier.

hand holding baby pacifier wubbanub in store aisle

So many new moms swear by Wabbanub pacifiers so if you plan on introducing a pacifier to help soothe your little one, these are going to be a total registry must-have! Not only do they come in many different types of stuffed animals, but they’re incredibly cute and practical for getting your new baby to take to a pacifier with ease.

17. When your baby has a clogged nose, the Fridababy nose sucker will be everything.

hand holding must have baby registry item nosefrida package in store aisle

Something you may not think about before your new baby is here is the fact you’ll have to help them with boogies. Since babies can’t blow their noses on their own, having an extremely effective way to get rid of their snot will make them and you much happier. And if you were wondering, yes, it’s completely sanitary too. 😂

Here are the top 3 baby products you should definitely SKIP on your registry:

1. The Diaper Genie ends up being a real stinker.

row of diaper genies on store aisle

In theory, a diaper pail might sound appealing in the beginning, but in reality, they’re just costly to change and smell absolutely awful once they’re sitting at room temperature for a week straight. Due to these two major drawbacks, they’re not registry-worthy in our book.

Instead, save your used plastic grocery bags – they’re free & easy to toss in the trash afterward! 

2. Unless you like dry wet wipes, don’t bother with a wipe warmer.

wipe warmer box on store shelf

I get the idea behind the wipe warmer – what parent wouldn’t want their baby to feel their best when they’re getting cleaned up? That said, this machine is just more trouble than it’s worth and could potentially dry out your wipes in the long run.

Instead, try to keeping your wipes stored at room temperature.

3. You’ll lose interest in buying baby crib shoes as quickly as they’re lost off of your little ones’ feet.

baby shoes hanging on store shelf with gymboree tags on them

When browsing through baby clothes, teeny tiny adorable little shoes seem to steal the show. I mean, we can’t deny the heart eyes that happen when we see them, but don’t let the cuteness of some teeny tiny crib shoes win you over. According to many of our readers, they constantly fall off baby’s feet and just aren’t worth the money.

Instead, consider these versatile snap booties. They actually stay on & will go with any outfit while keeping toes warm.

Check out more baby deals too good to pass up!


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